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99 Cents Only stores closing all 371 locations, liquidation sales starting Friday

99 Cents Only stores closing all 371 locations
99 Cents Only stores closing all 371 locations 02:29

The operators of the 99 Cents Only stores announced Thursday they will shut down all 371 of the locations throughout four states, with liquidation sales starting Friday. 

"This was an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve," interim company CEO Mike Simoncic said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the last several years have presented significant and lasting challenges in the retail environment, including the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting consumer demand, rising levels of shrink, persistent inflationary pressures and other macroeconomic headwinds, all of which have greatly hindered the company's ability to operate.

"We deeply appreciate the dedicated employees, customers, partners, and communities who have collectively supported 99 Cents Only Stores for decades."

The move will impact all company locations in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. The operators are based in Commerce. 

Friday, many customers in Santa Ana were getting last-minute items before the store there shut down for good. 

"Inflation has been high," said Julie Ann Mckenzie, a shopper. "So that's why I shop here. And it is close to home." 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said she would introduce a motion during Tuesday's board meeting asking for a report on ways the county can provide support for displaced workers from the chain.

"I am worried about the thousands of 99 Cents Store workers across L.A. County who are going to lose their jobs, but L.A. County is ready to help," Hahn said in a statement Friday. "We have a department that can step in during an event like this and help workers with not only short-term assistance to get through this difficult time, but job training and support to help them get a better job."

According to the company, it has partnered with Hilco Real Estate to facilitate the liquidation of all merchandise, along with "certain fixtures, furnishings and equipment at the company's stores."

Company officials said they conferred with financial and legal advisers in hopes of finding a way to continue operating.

"Following months of actively pursuing these alternatives, the company ultimately determined that an orderly wind-down was necessary and the best way to maximize the value of 99 Cents Only Stores' assets," according to a company statement.

The 99 Cents Only stores were founded in 1982.

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